Yellow Springs has always been centered around the idyllic natural terrain surrounding the village, its namesake springs situated in the heart of Glen Helen. In 1846, the village blossomed with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad; seven years later, in 1853, renowned educational reformer Horace Mann became the first president of Antioch College—Yellow Springs’ historic liberal arts school.
Numerous colorful storefronts now pepper the downtown area, and visitors still travel far and wide to enjoy the romantic waterfalls, babbling brooks, and lush forests of Yellow Springs—all located within walking distance of Springsfest, a family-friendly celebration of music, craft beer, and visual art.
“I’m aiming to keep Springsfest something smaller, more intimate, and intentional than some of the typical music festivals we’ve all become so accustomed to,” says founder Conor Stratton. “I plan to keep things to one day to keep the focus on the bands. Everything we book is worth seeing, and I would never want to short change an artist.”
Guided By Voices, Lily & Madeleine, CAAMP, Saintseneca, Swarming Branch, and Twin Peaks have all played Springsfest in recent years. As the owner of Great Guys Entertainment and frontman of Crooked Spines, an indie dream pop band (with teeth), Stratton has been promoting shows around Ohio for years.
“My childhood in Yellow Springs made it very important for me to bring these opportunities to my hometown,” he says. “Every year I’m blessed to see musical peers from all over Ohio make their case on the same stage as bands we’ve all idolized.”
Deerhunter, Amen Dunes, Post Animal, Grapetooth, and Chris Cohen are slated for this year’s event. A carefully curated selection of craft breweries, food trucks, and art will also be available. Springsfest runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. More information at springsfestival.com.